PESHAWAR: British firm Asian Precious Minerals announced an investment of $400 million in building a new cement plant in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) in a meeting between company executives and K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
Both sides discussed the potential of bilateral trade between the UK and K-P, says a statement issued by the British High Commission.
Asian Precious Minerals CEO Nadim Khan, Executive Director Peter Frost, Country Manager Irshad Ali Khokhar and Jason Mumtaz of the high commission were present in the meeting.
The chief minister explained the province’s new industrial policy under which the government offered several incentives to local and foreign investors.
He said the investors could benefit from a transparent one-window operation for establishing an industrial concern without the need for a no-objection certificate.
He offered his support and commitment to ensuring that the British firm’s cement project could be a success.
Khattak called the project an important symbol of greatly improved business environment in K-P.
“This British investment will help create local jobs and stimulate the local economy. The UK recognises the dramatic improvements in K-P and I look forward to welcoming more British companies to the province,” he said.
Cement demand is continuously growing in Pakistan with new infrastructure projects, particularly those being undertaken under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Many cement manufacturers of the country have announced expansion plans with investments of up to $1 billion to meet the rising consumption needs.
“We are delighted to be investing in a new cement plant in K-P,” said Nadim Khan, CEO of Asian Precious Minerals. “We are able to do this because of the improved law and order situation, the pro-business stance and good governance policy displayed by the provincial government.”
He said the company would construct a model, state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly cement plant.
British Trade Director for Pakistan Belinda Lewis said Asian Precious Minerals had recognised the improved security and investment climate in K-P and Pakistan more generally and recognised the clear potential for future growth in the country.
“I hope other UK companies will follow the example of APML (Asian Precious Minerals) and also regard Pakistan as a significant investment opportunity,” she commented.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2017.